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6 Fictional Fighting Styles (and How to Fake Them)

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1. Fighting style: Venusian Aikido

Where it comes from: Doctor Who

What it is: The eleven Doctors on the long-running British serial, while being of exceedingly varied temperaments, have all shied away from violence whenever possible. However, from 1970-1974, the third doctor, played by Jon Pertwee, became a master of Venusian Aikido.

Real aikido stresses self-defense while protecting the attacker from serious injury; the BBC’s time-traveler was no different. After defeating three armed men in 1973’s “The Green Death” the Doctor shouts, “Venusian Aikido, gentlemen! I do hope I haven’t hurt you!” before shuffling off to continue his adventure. At various times, the Doctor uses pressure points, kicks, throws, and even joint locks. While he never really gives anyone more information on Venusian Aikido other than its name, it proved more than effective at helping him out of jams even if he was a couple centuries old—he did only look 55 anyway.

How to fake it: Technically, the art is designed for Venusians, so you’d need five arms and five legs to really throw down. But from the looks of it, the Doctor’s style mostly consists of yelling “Hi-ya!” and tossing out some classic ‘70s judo throws and karate chops.

2. Fighting style: Mok’bara

Where it comes from: the Klingons

What it is: It wasn’t until Star Trek: The Next Generation that Trekkies got to see how the Klingons train. To be honest, Klingon Mok’bara looks an awful lot like Tai Chi. Practitioners use very slow, controlled movements intended to unify the mind and body, or to quote the Klingon Lt. Worf, “the form clears the mind and centers the body.” While Mok’bara can use weapons like the bat’leth and b’k tagh, the majority is devoted to Tai Chi-esque movement.

In the episode “Birthright,” a mid-plié Worf tells some students that Mok’bara is “the basis for Klingon Combat” just before taking down an uppity young Klingon who sneaks up on him. In a different Mok’bara class, Worf blindfolds a student half his size, tells her to defend herself, and then repeatedly knocks her down—to teach her what unfair means.

How to fake it: Seriously, it looks just like Tai Chi. There are plenty of videos online of people doing “Mok’bara,” and it’s really just Tai Chi. If you want a head start, though, listen to Worf: “First, you must learn how to breathe. Stand tall, as tall as you can.” Then, you just find a Romulan to beat the snot out of.

3. Fighting style: Baritsu

Where it comes from: Sherlock Holmes stories

What it is: Sherlock Holmes died falling over the Reichenbach Falls at the end of “The Final Problem.” Eight years later, Holmes came back having cheated death with baritsu, "the Japanese system of wrestling.” Using baritsu, Holmes slipped out of Moriarty’s grasp and avoided the fall. Strangely, this is the only mention of baritsu in any of the Holmes stories, and Sherlockians think that it should have been bartitsu, a martial art invented by British japanophile and expert mustache-wearer Edward William Barton-Wright. Barton-Wright hybridized judo, boxing, and fencing into his own self-defense method (the “bart” in “bartitsu” is from his name) much of it using a fashionable cane. Barton-Wright ran a bartitsu school for years but also published articles with wonderfully polite titles like “How to Put a Troublesome Man Out of the Room,” which sounds like a Holmes story in itself.


How to fake it: Even though baritsu isn’t real, bartitsu is, so you don’t even have to fake it. People still teach bartitsu in some martial arts schools. If there’s not a school near you, last year Ivy Press published Barton-Wright’s techniques in hardcover: The Sherlock Holmes School of Self-Defence: The Manly Art of Bartitsu—as used against Professor Moriarty.

4. Fighting style: Klurkor

[Image source]

Where it comes from: DC Comics’ Superman

What it is: The Silver-Age DC Comics universe was chock-full of strange little plot devices that have been removed or changed since 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the pre-Crisis DCU, Superman comics often featured the miniaturized city of Kandor, the planet Krypton’s lost capital (because planets have capitals). Kandorians didn’t have Superman’s powers while in the city, so they developed a martial art called Klurkor.

Superman and his cousin Supergirl both learned Klurkor, but the style was most often used by super-girlfriend Lois Lane. Lois learned enough that in Lois Lane # 76, she calls herself “a master of Klurkor…a Kandorian improvement on karate” while beating the snot out of a thief.

How to fake it: Mostly, you’re going to use karate chops. But if you want to get serious, strap on some rollerskates and practice kicking people in the face. In Superman Family #198, Lois reminds herself and the reader about Klurkor just before skate-fighting some Metropolis Rockets roller-derby bruisers.

5. Fighting style: Omnite

Where it comes from: Logan’s Run

What it is: Omnite only appears in the original novel, not in the 1976 film. In the novel, all people have to be executed on their 21st birthdays. Those who run away (“runners,” get it?), are hunted by “sandmen” like Logan 3. Logan, like all sandmen, is trained in Omnite, a martial art built from many others: “From Japan: jujitsu. From China: kempo and karate. From France: savate. From Greece: boxing and wrestling. The finest points of each art were combined in Omnite.”

Let’s ignore the fact that both karate and kempo are Japanese and that French kickboxing is probably pretty ineffective.

Logan does manage to break out of an ice prison and escape a deadly robot with a Matrix-y Omnite technique where he imagines “there was no cell bar” before striking and shattering it.

How to fake it: Apart from wardrobe—foam-padded mittens, a short white skirt, and Michael York’s foppish haircut—the best way to fake it would be to learn a couple moves from several styles so well that you could effectively fight while on one knee, “the classic Omnite attack position.”

6. Fighting style: Weirding Way

Where it comes from: Frank Herbert’s Dune

What it is: Women join the Bene Gessarit, a politically powerful religious sisterhood of Reverend Mothers, by purposefully overdosing on melange (Dune’s magical drug-cum-oil-metaphor called “the spice”) and then mastering prana-bindu training, which kind of gives them superpowers. Prana-bindu creates mind-body unity that gives its users complete control over every muscle, so much so that they can contort in impossible ways or even bend just their little toes.


Instead of using this to start a circus, the Bene Gessarit created the Weirding Way. With the Weirding Way, a fighter can strike with superhuman force and speed. In Children of Dune, the Bene Gessarit woman Alia is capable of delivering “a toe-pointing kick which could disembowel a man.” On top of this, the Bene Gessarit have other powers that let them simply imagine themselves behind an opponent and move so quickly they appear to teleport.

How to fake it: Considering you probably shouldn’t try overdosing, this could be tricky. For the movie, David Lynch didn’t want to film “Kung-fu on sand dunes,” so he created “weirding modules” that turn voices into weapons. So, faking the Weirding Way could probably just be a microphone and some massive sub-woofers.

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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